Simple Leather and the Sustainability of their Craft

Simple Leather and the Sustainability of their Craft

Located in Guatemala, artisans from Simple Leather use traditional methods to craft modern leather goods. In their workshop, these artisans create beautiful and functional products through the process of dyeing, cutting, and stitching leather. 

As Jalid, the founder of Simple Leather, creates and tests prototypes of designs to ensure quality products, he keeps a core value in mind: sustainability. 

The value of sustainability is evident in the patterns created for each item--patterns dreamt up in Guatemala City and innovated to endure years of wear and tear. It is also seen in the care used to handle the leather, as thread is woven in and out of the material to create functional items.

Leather backpack handcrafted by Simple Leather artisans

The leather used in Simple Leather products is a byproduct of the livestock industry, which would otherwise go to waste, ending up in landfills or being burned: producing more pollution and causing greater harm to the environment. 

While avoiding meat and dairy products is one of the most significant ways to reduce one’s carbon footprint, the same cannot be said for avoiding leather products. Currently, there is no evidence that shows that if people stop buying leather products, ranchers would cease to raise animals for meat. In fact, while the demand for hide is at an all time low as buyers switch from leather to synthetic products, the demand for beef continues to rise. 

While those hoping to decrease their personal impact on the environment can minimize their dairy and meat consumption, choosing not to purchase leather products will not stop the livestock industry from growing.

Additionally, synthetic fabrics have a lower lifespan than leather products, often leading to higher wardrobe turnovers and a less sustainable lifetime of the products purchased. Moreover, these synthetic products are often mass produced, in stark contrast to items intentionally and individually produced by Simple Leather artisans. 

As Simple Leather designs products that are sustainable for both our wardrobe and the environment, they are also working to sustain households within their small community. 

José and Sandra, artisans at Simple Leather

Simple Leather strives to give dignified work opportunities to artisans in Guatemala by providing  just and fair compensation. The money earned from each order acts as supplemental income, creating a financial buffer for each artisan employed at the organization. This money is then used to fund their children’s education, put food on the table, pay for medical expenses, and simply experience the necessities and joys of life. 

By supporting artisans at Simple Leather that carefully and intentionally handcraft each leather product, we can rest assured that our purchase is one of sustainability for both the planet and the people within it. 

Leather bag from Simple Leather

To see more products handcrafted by the Simple Leather’s artisans, visit their shop